2010-04-12: Metallic Mistake



Date: April 12, 2010


Left to her own devices, Erin does a bit more research into her room mate's journals.

"Metallic Mistake"

Secret Safehouse of DOOM

The hardest part about cracking a top-secret code is the fact that Erin can't write any of it down, or it would defeat the purpose of top-secret. It's taken quite awhile, and with the variability in the symbols, it's practically like reading Chinese. Once, Erin got through a whole page only to discover that the entire thing composed one single letter.

The first thing she did was learn her name. Erin is paranoid; she figured there would be some things in Cody's book about her, which also makes her vain. Turns out, she was right, and she learned that Cody knows exactly how to kill her if it becomes necessary.

Recently, she's gotten to thinking. Perhaps Max is in there, too. Or Tracy. Maybe even Ali, even though Erin hasn't heard from her roommate in a very long time. The main purpose behind Erin's poring over Cody's notebooks today, though, is the search for the three letters that make up Max's name. Of course, finding three specific letters is impossible in this mess. It's taken awhile. She's also figured out a way to write things down in her own code so she can remember them; since it's something only she knows, she imagines it'll take a long time for someone else to figure out her meaning. There's… nothing on it yet. Because she hasn't found anything to put on it yet. The blank sheet, as well as the notebooks, are scattered on the kitchen table. Erin's leaning over them, half asleep.

The index in the beginning of the book is quite handy when it comes to finding names. As the books were written for someone other than Erin to find, they are meticulous and well ordered. Even though they are thick journals, every page is numbered in accordance to the list at the beginning. Since it's all in code, there is no need for an alphabetical order, so the targets are listed as she found them. Some of the pages are blank, with nothing but a scrawl of a name at the top.

As she flips through the book there are two things fairly noticeable. The first thing is that there is a page missing near the beginning, torn raggedly from the spine. The other is that there are many more names filled in.

After awhile of staring blankly at the notebook, Erin slams it shut, rubs at her temples, and opens it again. The writing is becoming more familiar, but it still feels like high school French translation homework. Only with this, there's little to go on except what she learned from Cody.

Of course, on the next pass through, as she idly looks for her name, she finds the entire page missing. Her eyes narrow; she must just have the location wrong. Flipping among the nearby pages, Erin finds that, no, she's right. Her page is gone. She was certain it was between the one with a paragraph shaped like a teddy bear and the one with the smudge in the top corner. It's just gone.

"Hn," she mutters. Unable to help it, her mind jumps to the most obvious solution - she knows too much now, and Cody's taken the page for safekeeping.

Scary. Still, Erin can't blame her; it's irritating and makes her a little nervous, but she'll deal with it later. "Looks like you've been busy," she mutters as she continues to flip through the book, then back to the place where her page should be. "What're you up to?"

The writer of the journal has been busy, in fact, since the last perusal of the journal of death, there have been at least 15 more pages added. The code in the new pages isn't difficult to crack, in fact it looks like a simple cryptogram with no bold lettering. The easiest of all the codes that the agent had taught her.

Pyle, …it begins…

This is an entry I wished that I never had to write. I had hopes that he would join us, but it doesn't look like that will ever happen. He has a mission of his own, something that I think will bring us on opposing ends….

It still takes awhile for Erin to translate everything. She's not writing it down, so she has to rely on her memory to read all the letters she translated before it. One day, she hopes to be able to read this stuff like she'd read a book. Still, she gets through the first part after a little while, biting her lip. Who?

As she saves the page with one finger, she flips through to see how many more pages there are. It makes Erin even more nervous… Should she ask Cody what she's doing? Knock her out first? It's hard for Erin to just trust people, especially after what Jo did. Maybe—

Her eyes close as she flips back to the letter to Pyle. No, she has to trust her roommate. They've been through a lot. Still…

"Why would she leave these for me to read if she didn't expect me to read them," Erin tells herself, continuing to read.

…His name is Max Swan, I think he has the ability to control metal and magnetism. Bullets will be useless unless they are ceramic. There's a contact of mine in Istanbul that has a sintering plant, he's got the molds but the bullets come at a high price because he has to clear the plant to make them. If you can't get a hold of the bullets you will have to be at close range.

Be quick, he's strong. Much stronger than I am, he's also driven. He has a god complex the likes I've never witnessed before.

There's a watermark on the page, like a splatter that was pressed and dried. It blurs the writing a little where it is, but not enough to make it illegible.

The last time I saw him, he was looking for Erin. The way he looked at me when he was talking to me, it made me feel less than human. Like he as a wolf and I was his prey. Protect her from him at all costs, if you have to dedicate your life to it, do it. She's too dangerous to fall into his hands…

As Erin reads on, her eyes become narrower and narrower. She gave Janet a gun to use if she ever saw Max. Of course, she couldn't have known better at the time… Is something better than nothing?

Absently, she brushes at the splatter, then takes a closer look. Was Cody crying when she wrote this??

"Y'really did like that sunnuvabitch, didn't you?"

So, ceramic. Or at close range, other things would be effective, too. Just plain old glass. Hell, even a plastic knife if necessary. She'll have to find something more accommodating for Janet. Erin worries about her sister.

Maybe she should contact Cay and Mika, just to— No, they don't have to be dragged into this.

Because Cody's not here, she can openly let her fear show. It's… Extensive. Her hnd trembles as she reads the page. Her eyes are red, as if preparing for a good cry, but she stifles the desire. She already knew he was coming; and as Cody said, Erin will just have to get to him first.

Reaching for a pen, she writes something at the bottom of the page, in the same code. It blends in with the other text so well, that she may never notice it.

I didn't ask for this. I'm sorry. And thank you.

At least now she has answers.

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